Israel is a land and a people. The history of the Jewish people, and its roots in the Land of Israel, spans some 35 centuries. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence, lost almost 2,000 years earlier, was renewed.
The flag of the State of Israel is based on the design of the Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), with a blue Shield of David (Magen David).
The official emblem of the State of Israel is a candelabrum (menorah). The olive branches on either side represent Israel's yearning for peace.
In a region where women are all too often excluded from public life, Israeli women stand out as leaders in politics, law, science, medicine, mediation and conflict resolution.
The study of Arabic is part of the core curriculum of the Israeli educational system, and is of extreme importance to the Jewish-Arab relationship.
In recent years, Palestinian radicals have been trying to violate the status quo by preventing Christians and Jews from visiting the Temple Mount. Palestinian rioters are funded and led by radical Islamist elements.